Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 14

This was our last week before Thanksgiving break.  We are taking the whole week off for Thanksgiving.  I am ready for a little break, but I bet that Lily will still ask to do school.

Week 14 in Our Homeschool

Bible: We finished the biography we were reading by Nancy I. Sanders on the apostle Paul and moved on to a biography on Mary.  Since we do not have a Bible curriculum we are using right now, I just read extra chapters of the biography.

History- In Mystery of History Vol III we finished lessons 31-33 on Ivan the Terrible, Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, and the Jesuits, and the Explorers of North America.  We completed the corresponding memory cards and timeline figures, but I did not get the maps printed out.  I really need to work on that!

Science- We finished Chapter 8 in Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics.  We did not do any of the experiments this week.  The boys also did the vocabulary and copywork that was assigned in the notebooking journals.

Grammar/Writing/Literature- Nick and Alex finished lesson 13 of Fix it! Grammar.  They also did some polishing on last week's IEW lesson and we decided not to move on to a new lesson since we were taking a week off.  Christian read The Grinch in Lightning Lit this week.  He wrote a paper about Christmas.  We also had to watch the Grinch cartoon after reading the book since it is one of their favorites.  Anthony finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  We watched the movie for our Friday night movie, but he did not like it any where near as much as the book.  He wants to read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator so he can see what happens to Charlie next.

Spelling/Reading- Alex finished lesson 21 of AAS.  Christian and Anthony worked on lesson 2 of All About Reading Level 2 this week.

Language- We did lesson 7 and 8 of Word Up! this week.

Math- Nick and Alex finished lesson 14 of their books this week while Christian and Anthony did lesson 13 of their Math U See books this week.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z

This week we finished up the lesson on "u" with the Bible theme of God Made Us Wonderful.  The main science theme of this unit was on the 5 senses and the activities were related to the senses.  She also completed some worksheets and worked more on blending letters to make words.

We finished on Wednesday and instead of starting a new unit on Thursday we worked on a section of our animal classification workbook that we had not finished yet from Grandview.


Other Activities This Week

Tuesday we had gymnastics.

Thursday we sold some rabbits.  Yay!  And actually ended up selling the others by today.  We kept one of them.

Thursday was also Alex's 11th birthday.  He wanted a triple layer strawberry cake and wanted to make it himself.  He did have a little bit of help.  The cake turned out great!



Friday we had to run several errands including dropping off Operation Christmas Child boxes from our 4 H club and a few we  did too.



We also had shop class.  The boys made chalkboard easels.  I paired a big brother with a younger brother and we took home two projects.  The girls and I ran to Brookshire's and Walmart to do some grocery shopping.  Then home to pizza and a movie.






Saturday Art and I went to lunch and did some shopping just the two of us.  We had not been anywhere alone in I can't remember how long.  Chelsea was off of work so she stayed home with the other children.  It was a very nice day!

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2014 Blue Ribbon Awards

The 2014 Crew year has come to a close.  I will be continuing on with the Schoolhouse Review Crew when we start back again in January.  Every year at the end of the Crew year, we have an opportunity to vote for our favorites and give out blue ribbon awards.  We had a wonderful 2014 with 58 vendors with amazing products.  I completed 42 reviews this year and have written 230 reviews for The Crew since I joined in 2010.  You can see the list of all of the winners over on the Crew Blog, but I wanted to share a few of my favorite products from this crew year with you today.




Artistic Pursuits- I have had an opportunity to review 2 different Artistic Pursuits books over the years and have bought another on my own.  They are wonderful for the homeschooling mom who wants to include art but has no artistic talent (like me.)  They even offer art packs so you can buy all of the supplies at once either from them or Dick Blick Art Supplies.  The books are wonderful!

 Link to my Sculpture Technique: Model review.

 Link to my Elements of Art and Composition review.






Learning Wrap Ups- The Wrap ups were a great supplement to learning math facts.  We also received the learning palettes.  These were bigger and sturdier than I had imagined.  We really liked these as well and I purchased another level of them after the review period.  We have not used them much since the school year started, but we will use them again this summer.




Moving Beyond the Page- One of our favorite products ever!!I do not think I could use it as a full year curriculum, but it is great for us for summer study.  We have had an opportunity to review two different sets of Moving Beyond the Page units: Language Arts: Holes with Science: Rocks and Minerals and Language Arts :Ben and Me with Science: Electricity and Magnetism (we reviewed this last year.) Great literature and language arts activities and lots of fun hands on science activities.  My children love these units and ask to do school in the summer!








Hewitt Homeschooling: Lightning Literature- I had an opportunity to review Lightning Lit British Mid to Late 19th Century back in 2012.  I reviewed several different high school literature programs that year, and Lightning Lit was our favorite and the one we continued with.  I was so excited to find out they have started developing literature programs for elementary ages!  First and Second grade are available for purchase right now and the other grades are releasing one per year.  We reviewed the 1st grade this year and then signed up for the field test of the 3rd grade.  We LOVE it!  I will say that the program seems expensive especially if you have to buy the books.  But it is writing, literature, and grammar all in one and if you have a decent library you won't have to buy books (I had to buy a bunch!)  and the second grade and third grade get a little cheaper because they don't use as many books.  My boys that I am using this with love the program and I can't wait for the other levels to come out!



IEW Fix It! Grammar- Loved it!  Easy and painless way for you to teach and your children to learn grammar! We reviewed book one The Nose Tree, but there are 5 other books in the series.  They do recommend you start with book one.  IEW allows copying within families, making it great and economical!

Clued in Kids- My children loved these and asked when we would be able to do one again.  Easy to set up and easy to do with a wide range of ages.







Purposeful Design- Beautiful book!  Great science/bible supplement that talks about and illustrates the seven days of creation.  We read one chapter per day, but the children also liked to just take the book and look at the photos.

The children each get to vote for their favorite throughout the year.  Some of my children voted for Clued in Kids, and some voted for Moving Beyond the Page.  The one that surprised me though was Anthony he voted for Mango Languages.  Apparently he enjoyed learning how to speak Pirate!

That is the list of some of our absolute favorites from the 2014 Crew year.  I can't wait to see what 2015 will bring!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 13

13 weeks done and only about 3 to go until the end of 2014!  We will take an entire week off for Thanksgiving and will only do school the first two weeks of December because my parents will be here for a week and then daddy will be on Christmas vacation.  And I've got to add it is COLD here in Arkansas!  COLD!  Not cold for many of you northern people, but it is cold for Arkansas.  Even my 7 year old says that he cannot remember ever having a fall this cold, but it looks like it will get a little warmer by the end of the week.

Week 13 in our Homeschool:

Bible: We finished up What On Earth Can I Do?  We are still reading our biography on Paul.  I am planning on starting back with Bible Study Guide For All Ages after the holidays, but until then will find some things to fill in with.

History: We finished lessons 28,29, and 30 in Mystery of History this week.  They were Titian and the Rise of Venice, Women of the Renaissance and Reformation, and John Calvin.  We also completed the corresponding memory cards and timeline figures.

Science: We completed the notebooking assignments for Chapter 7 and did an experiment with different types of paper airplanes.  They had so much fun flying the planes!


Spelling/Reading-Alex didn't do spelling this week.  Oops!  My All About Reading Level 2 stuff came in on Wednesday so we were able to do the first lesson.  The boys had fun feeding the anteater and reviewing open and closed syllables.  I am hoping the hands on activities and the fluency exercises will help increase their fluency.

Math-Nick and Alex finished up Lesson 13 of their Math U See books and Christian and Anthony finished up Lesson 12 of their Math U See books.

Language-Still working our way through Word Up!  The boys love it!

Literature/Writing/Grammar-Christian finished up his activities with Frog and Toad and started reading The Grinch.  Anthony is still reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  We will finish it this week and then watch the movie on Friday.  Nick and Alex finished lesson 12 in Fix it! Grammar and Lesson 10 of IEW Medieval History Writing.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z

We finished up the unit on Turtles.  We made a turtle snack, read the Tortoise and the Hare, and ran some races.  Which by the way Lily told me I was too old to run.  Can you believe that?  I did in fact run three races with her: one running, one hopping, and one skipping.  I did though admit that I was too old to do a somersault race!

We started the unit on the letter "u." The letter u is for us and the Bible lesson is "God made us wonderful."  We have been learning about the human body, more specifically the 5 senses.  So far we have done activities related to hearing and touch.

Anthony had an opportunity to do one of the lessons in the  LEGO WeDo program this week too.



Other Activities This Week

Tuesday was gymnastics for Lily.

Wednesday we went to Grandview for hands on science and art co-op.

Thursday we were very busy baking for the 4 H Bake sale on Friday.  Each of the children made something.  Lily and Emmie made blueberry muffins, Christian made sugar cookies with bright blue icing and fish sprinkles, Anthony (with Nick's help) made brownies, and Alex made a cinnamon roll cake.  I made some cinnamon rolls, bread, 2 different kinds of muffins, and a spice cake.




I did not get a picture of Alex, Anthony , or Nick baking because I had to drive to town to pick up other people's baked goods and they made their stuff while I was gone.

Friday was the bake sale.  We spent a little over 3 hours outside of Walmart.  It was not very warm but thankfully the sun was out and there was no wind.  We grabbed some groceries and pizza from Pizza Hut before heading home to pizza and a movie, our Friday night tradition.

Saturday Chelsea was off of work which is very unusual.  Daddy was off hunting so we headed to Texarkana and saw Big Hero 6 and did some shopping.  The movie was very good.  The children loved it!

It is cold and wet today so after church we have been just hanging around watching movies and relaxing.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!


Review: The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky





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  • I have a new author to add to my list of favorites!  I have just finished reading The Daughter of Highland Hall, which by the way is the second book in the  Edwardian Brides series, and I loved it!  let me tell you a little bit about the book.

    In The Daughter of Highland Hall, Katherine is making her debut into London society.  Her cousin, Sir William Ramsey, inherited her family estate when her parents died and in order to secure her future she must find a proper husband from a wealthy well known family.  With a wealthy and pushy aunt as her sponsor, Katherine is sure to attract some appropriate suitors.  But, a family scandal forces Katherine to keep a low profile as she is being rejected by those who were flocking to see her.  She begins volunteering at a medical clinic in London's East End that serves the poor.  Here she feels free of the pressures of society and her future and that she is doing some good in the world.  Her friendship with Johnathan Foster and her faith in God grow.  Katherine begins to feel torn between doing what is expected of her and doing what her heart is telling her is right.

    One of the downsides to reviewing is that often when you see an interesting book that you want to review it is part of a series that you missed the first book to.  That is what happened to me this time.  I saw this book and since Christian Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, I decided to go ahead and review it even though I missed the first book.  And I am glad I did.  I do wish I had read the series starting from the beginning because you miss part of the back story, but you can read and enjoy this book on its own as well.  The story was not what I expected at times, especially when I was trying to figure out just what the family scandal was going to be, but unexpected in a good way.  I enjoyed the characters, especially Jon and Kate and William and Julia.  There were a few parts of the story that were not as developed as I thought they should be, but overall it was a great story with a good message.  I loved the ending, and I do plan on going back and reading the first book and the others that follow.  

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

    November Grandview Program and Art Co-op

    This month at Grandview, we did a recap of what we have learned in animal classification.  Over the last several months we have covered: mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.  It was a lot of information to cover, so we did a little review of why each animal is classified in those categories.  We also talked about habitats and what things animals need to have in a habitat.

    For a fun hands on project to help the children remember everything they have learned, they each made their own habitats.  They created dioramas that had to have one of each of the animal types we have covered in their habitat.  We used boxes for the dioramas and had tons of different craft supplies available so the children could be free to create their animal out of just about anything and make it as easy or complicated as they wanted to.  They came up with some great ideas and the dioramas turned out great!








    Our artist of the month was Grandma Moses.  We looked at several of her works and discussed them.  Then it was time for the children to create their own artwork.  They could use watercolors, construction paper, crayons, colored pencils, or all of the above.  The children came up with some interesting artwork, not at all what I expected them to do.  I expected them to do a scene similar to Grandma Moses's work but nope.  We had cats, chickens with submarines, school buses, and other various artwork.  They were very creative though!







    Happy Homeschooling!